Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

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Zasso Nouka
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Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Zasso Nouka »

That's a good point about mystery plastic, who knows what's in cheap knock offs. For the main reason would be not to encourage fakes, the designers of Flow Hives must have put a lot of thought and time into their product and its not right to help out people ripping that off.

I'll stick with the traditional method and invest in some genuine half size flow frames when we can afford it and when we actually have some bees.

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Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Here is he state of our Kinryohen orchids, not sure when they will flower so will update when that happens. All were kept outside uncovered till mid January.

This is the most advanced one. Kept on a south facing side of our house up against the concrete foundation and covered in several layers of fleece.

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A closeup showing new growth

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This one was kept on the cafe terrace under a clear roof so no direct frost and plenty of sun but with no covering

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New growth is still small but happening

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This one was kept in a vinyl house with open sides, new growth hasn't really started yet

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This one was kept indoors from December onwards

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This one was outside under fleece against the house foundation until two weeks ago and then brought into the house.

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Sound556
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Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Sound556 »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2024 10:15 pm
Sound556 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:50 pm
Bees have a very destinctive time for 'splitting' colonies as a way of reproducing . its quite early in the season to hope for a swarm. go out and hunt for them when its either in the beginning or the last part of the current pollen season ( bees like to take a safe approuch not to terminate their old hive when spittling up and the leaving party wants enough food/protein to survive its first 3 weeks for new workerbee production).

Any bee wax works even old candles , bees dont really have a concept of spiecies ( they intermix ALLOT to my frustraitions in keeping hives pure) its mostly the males that jump ship ( fun fact before winter they all get massacred)

How i'd use to do it is using an propane torch for liquifing an old hive ( i did hive box switches cleaning every 2 years and honey boxes every year) give the internals a good blast wipe up some of the liquid the wood is gonna discreade and rub it in a new box ( news paper or an old clean cloth can be put in the hive aswell , when the bees move in they will start cleaning any foreign object anyway).
Sorry man but some of that advice is just plain wrong in relation to native Japanese honeybees (Apis Cerana). Any old beeswax will almost certainly not work for them as it smells wrong and quite likely deter them from moving into a hive. Native honeybee hives also sometimes get raided by western honeybees (Apis Mellifera), it's not common but I've been told by a local beekeeper it can happen. Apis Cerana and Apis Mellifera are two completely different species of bee and they absolutely do not mix

Native Japanese honeybees also split right as the beginning of spring, they do this because their season for collecting nectar in the forests is much shorter than with western honeybees so they need to collect as much as possible to build up stores for the winter. If there is a lot of flowers or they do particularly well then they can split a second time later in the year but this is uncommon.

Sound556 wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 2:27 pm
Hi there!
I might shed some light on 'luring' bees.
Ive been playing with bees for around 9 years through my life. And what i found is : the 'hive lures' are utter money wasters. They dont attract what a bee scout is looking for.
Once again man totally and completely wrong. The lures we are talking absolutely do work with native Japanese bees because they mimic the pheromones produce by the kinryohen orchid which has been used for generations to attract Apis Cerana. Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh and I'm not trying to put you off giving advice but some of the things you've said here are wrong in relation to Apis Cerana. During your 9 years how many of those were spent with native Japanese honeybees as opposed to European bees ?
Inakappe wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2024 9:06 am
Yeah, I was wondering about whether you'd need the same propolis or not. If so, pretty hard to find a natural hive to get some from. I might end up getting lures again (same as your link) but as I mentioned before I had little success with them last year. I would just use the orchids but theres no guarantee they will flower at the right time which is why I'll probably try a lure one more time.
Will this year bee our year??
I still haven't cracked the timing for the orchids but had enough plants to be able to try different timings and different locations so hopefully will have at least one flowering at the right time and a better idea of timings and best locations for next year.

@gonbechan interesting videos and what a great idea splitting the lure in half, that's quite a money saver. Also interesting to see the differences in action. We certainly won't be buying the non original one again, it was a complete waste of money. Haven't watched the flow hive videos yet but will give it a butcher's tomorrow.
No Harm , No foul in my opinion.
Yeah i used to do 9 years of european bees with around 212 hives on my peak.
Things ive learned through the years might help some with preventing total hive collaps and other diseases and problems the european bees have.

If some one needs more info on either :
Carnica
Buck fast
European black honey bee
Eastern black honey bee
african honey bee ( not the killer hybride , pure strains only)

Im happy to help. If theres questions about hive box building and sorts either ping me or a quick google search would end up in some scematics.

Also if you do build your hive i highly advise going for a hole in the wall instead of a flying board and slitted opening. why? because nature intended for sick bees to never make it back to the hive , as beekeepers we love effienctie but its not as intended. drilling a hole ( look up the precise diameter before drilling) will end up in less varroa , pests and helps the bees in getting the air humidety down in hot days. Note that you prefferebly add a hole on every brood box making holes in honey boxes will either attract predators or stimulate strong hives in robbing or pilfering ( dutch to english translation is kinda hard on that exact word) the weaker boxes.

Do note attracting swarms works better in small boxes ( 6 framers have the highest catch capacity) ( 8 framers stimulate building quite quick) ( 10 framers might be to broad and big for a small swarm to protect)

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Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Sound556 wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:51 am
No Harm , No foul in my opinion.
Yeah i used to do 9 years of european bees with around 212 hives on my peak.
Things ive learned through the years might help some with preventing total hive collaps and other diseases and problems the european bees have.

I'm glad you didn't feel offended, that wasn't my intention. Although there are some similarities keeping native Japanese honeybees (Apis Cerana Japonica) is quite different to keeping European honeybees (Apis Mellifera) and what works with one won't necessarily work with the other
Sound556 wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:51 am
If some one needs more info on either :
Carnica
Buck fast
European black honey bee
Eastern black honey bee
african honey bee ( not the killer hybride , pure strains only)
Wouldn't rule it out but you are unlikely to find any of those here as there are quite strict laws on importing foreign bees and you are unlikely to find them living wild as they have no defence against the giant asian hornet which can wipe out an entire hive in a couple of hours.
Sound556 wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:51 am
Im happy to help. If theres questions about hive box building and sorts either ping me or a quick google search would end up in some scematics.

Also if you do build your hive i highly advise going for a hole in the wall instead of a flying board and slitted opening. why? because nature intended for sick bees to never make it back to the hive , as beekeepers we love effienctie but its not as intended. drilling a hole ( look up the precise diameter before drilling) will end up in less varroa , pests and helps the bees in getting the air humidety down in hot days. Note that you prefferebly add a hole on every brood box making holes in honey boxes will either attract predators or stimulate strong hives in robbing or pilfering ( dutch to english translation is kinda hard on that exact word) the weaker boxes.

Do note attracting swarms works better in small boxes ( 6 framers have the highest catch capacity) ( 8 framers stimulate building quite quick) ( 10 framers might be to broad and big for a small swarm to protect)
Keeping native Japanese bees tends to be a much more hands off style, if you were to inspect the hive with the regularity you do with European bees they would likely abscond, they are well suited to lazy beekeepers like me :dance: . Mostly beekeepers confine their interference to adding extra boxes as the hive expands and harvesting honey once or maybe twice per year. Japanese hive boxes generally don't use frames although some people do and they don't use queen excluders either. Apis Cerana are also somewhat resistant to varroa mite however wax moths have recently become a problem but word is slowly spreading about using BT sprays and powder.

You can keep European bees here and even buy colonies or queens but if giant hornets find the hive that can be a death sentence if you don't happen to be there when it happens. Apis Cerana on the other hand know to retreat into the hive and wait till the hornets give up and go away or they cuddle the hornet to death. As a consequence hives for Japanese bees tend to have very thick walls to stop the hornets chewing through them and provide insulation.

There are pros and cons to keeping both types depending on what you want out of it and how much work you are going to put into it.

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Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Saw our first A. Cerana worker bee out today on some Asparana that is flowering.



So time to get your trap hives cleaned up and baited with beeswax and get your orchids and lures ready as it looks like we'll be off to an early start this year. Was a bit too windy today to get a line on her nest but will try for tomorrow.

Good hunting everyone.